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See and feel what inspired Francis Scott Key

Every American knows the story of Francis Scott Key watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, then penning the Star Spangled Banner as dawn broke to reveal the Stars and Stripes still flying proudly over the fort. He watched the battle from a prime harbor seat: a British war ship on which he was detained.

Beckerman kicked his way from Crofton to Salt Lake to Brazil

The world’s sport takes the world’s stage next week when World Cup play begins in Brazil.     Played every four years, the World Cup is the most-watched and admired sporting event on the planet. This year, Anne Arundel County has a favorite son in the play. Crofton-raised Kyle Beckerman, a 31-year-old defensive midfielder for the United States Men’s National Team and captain of Real Salt Lake, prepares to lace up his cleats and play for all the world to see.

River sneakers step into history

After 27 years, Bernie Fowler got a new suit of clothes for his 2014 Patuxent River Wade In.     “It’s a historical day. For 27 years now, I’ve waded in tattered tennis shoes,” the 90-year-old Patuxent River champion and retired Maryland senator told his crowd of followers assembled under a striped marquee on a perfect June Sunday.     Then he handed the tattered sneakers to Sherrod Sturrock, deputy director of Calvert Marine Museum. Straw hat, shirt and denim overalls followed, filling Sturrock’s arms.
One community takes a big drop out of the Bay’s bucket
Rain barrels can help the citizens of the old-fashioned Bay village of Galesville prove that if we all do a little, we can do a lot. That’s the message five candidates of the Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy are using this summer to promote their graduation project: adding 55 new rain barrels to the town household by household.
 

June 3 is the last day to ensure your vote for June 24’s Primary election

Memorial Day reminds us of one way to serve our country.     Election Day offers each of us another way.     To vote, you don’t have to don a uniform, swear an oath or go in harm’s way.     You do have to register, and for that time is short.     June 3 is the last day to register — or change your registration — to vote in June 24’s Primary Election.

Calvert Marine Museum chips away at 58 million years

Persistence pays off. That’s the case with retired farmer Bernard Kuehn of Accokeek.     After 30-plus years combing the stream bed running through his farmland for fossilized sharks’ teeth, Kuehn hit the jackpot this month.     He discovered the soft-shell turtle fossil that lived over 58 million years ago in the Paleocene epoch.

When the Bay Bridge looms, Kent Island Shuttle Service will do the driving

Reaching heights that exceed 200 feet; spanning a gap of over four miles; accommodating more than 1,500 vehicles — per five lanes; and carrying over 27 million vehicles each year — the Chesapeake Bay Bridge may be a wonder of modern (or, not-so-modern) conveyance. But a select few view it as a crossing more insurmountable, a ­barrier of fear.     These select few suffer from gephyrophobia, or fear of bridges.     “The phobia is real,” says Carol Claiborne. “I’ve experienced it.”

20 minutes to better boating

I take my boating safety seriously. For the past 20 years, I have signed up for Coast Guard Auxiliary safety inspection. My spring ritual assures I will be safe, legal and prepared should the Coast Guard or Natural Resources Police choose to stop me for a random on-water inspection.     Every year I pass the formal inspection, but the inspector always makes multiple recommendations for improving my safety. This year I wanted to pass with no recommendations.

Farewell, Dignity Players

Less is more.         For nine years, Dignity Players proved it. The focus of this unique volunteer theater company was not on complex sets, colorful costumes, tricky lighting and sound effects. It couldn’t be, because for Dignity those things didn’t exist. All that existed was the small, bare stage at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.